The ability to protect intellectual property is vital. Intellectual property includes a company’s inventions, technology, and images. It involves practically everything a company sells to customers.
Infringement means loss of a company’s competitive edge. In the United States, intellectual property infringement lawsuits often result in multi-million-dollar verdicts. Yet protecting its intellectual property when doing business in China is challenging.
Message sent to China at the World Trade Organization
In a recent World Trade Organization forum, trading partners, including the U.S. and the European Union, criticized China’s intellectual property practices. Critics allege such practices favor local firms over foreign companies. Specifically, there were concerns about China’s cybersecurity laws. Critics feel these laws are discriminatory towards foreign firms.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was blunt in his criticism. “China has pursued abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation.”
There are well-known plans to take punitive measures against China. These include tariffs on Chinese imports. However, there was pushback from a China official who called for the need to resist bullying tactics such as protectionism.
There may be some progress. One report noted indications that China was increasing its intellectual property support at both an administrative and judicial level. This report showed revenues to intellectual property owners in China growing extensively during the last 20 years.
Unfortunately, few law firms in the U.S. have the knowledge of Chinese laws and practices to help protect intellectual property rights. Qualified representation is essential. Attorneys with knowledge of this area of law can protect your rights and interests. They can also provide guidance regarding what steps to take. Importantly, they can also alert companies regarding the impact of changes to the law.